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  • On Feb 17, 2020
    Latisha from LA Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Need help with planning a Disney vacation

    Hi Latisha!

    Well, you have come to the right place! I remember planning that first vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort for my family after we had children and it was as exciting as it was overwhelming!

    First things first, choose the dates of your visit. If you have some flexibility, check the Special Offers to compare rates at different times of year. While checking rates, you will need to decide if you are going to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel. We love the benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, especially the ability to make FastPass+ selections 60 days prior to our visit. We prefer purchasing a vacation package that includes a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, theme park tickets and one of the Disney Dining Plans. If it fits within your budget, plan to visit all four theme parks. They are all AMAZING!

    Once you have booked your vacation package (or before), create a My Disney Experience account and link your vacation package confirmation to that account online. If you book a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, at 180 days prior to your trip, you can make advanced dining reservations for the length of your stay (up to 10 days). We always make advanced dining reservations, especially for character meals because restaurants can book quickly. When you make those reservations, keep in mind that, unless you have Park Hopper Tickets, you will need to dine in the same park that you visit for that day or could you dine at restaurants outside of the parks. 

    Once you get to 60 days prior to your trip, you will need to make FastPass+ selections. With FastPass+, you may make up to three FastPass+ selections in advance at one park per day that you have valid theme park admission. We use our FastPass+ selections for poplar attractions so that we reduce our wait time in lines for rides. Prior to your visit, I also suggest that you consider adding Memory Maker. We love to have access to all of our digital PhotoPass photos and videos after our trip!

    Latisha, when we took our girls on their first visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, they were 5-years old. Although I was a novice at planning, I was so happy that we used the Disney Dining Plan, made those dining reservations and FastPass+ selections. It was the most perfect trip in so many ways!

    Sending you plenty of extra pixie dust as you start planning!

    Magic and memories,
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Meet the Panelist: Donyell, North Carolina

Hello from North Carolina! I am a mom of twin girls, wife, and university professor who has been inspired by the creativity of Disney for a lifetime. Since my first Disney visit when I was 12-years-old, I have been drawn to the adventures crafted by Disney Imagineers. Planning Disney vacations helps connect me to families who will find in Disney the kind of joy my family has experienced over the years. Allow me to help you map your own Disney journey so that you, too can create the memories of a lifetime! Learn More About Donyell

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